Where does excellence come from? For a long time, it was thought the answer to this hinged, to a large degree, on genetic inheritance. Or, to put it another way, it is all about talent
It turns out that this is mistaken. Dozens of studies have found that top performers - whether in maths, music or whatever - learn no faster than those who reach lower levels of attainment - hour after hour, they improve at almost identical rates.
The difference is simply that high achievers practise for more hours.
…consider a youngster who believes excellence is all about talent - labelled the "fixed mindset". Why would she bother to work hard?
If, on the other hand, she really believes that effort trumps talent - labelled the "growth mindset" - she will persevere. She will not see failure as an indictment, but as an opportunity to adapt and grow. And, if she is right, she will eventually excel...
Think how often you hear children saying "I just lack the brain for numbers"
...So, how do we orient our children to the growth mindset? ....we should praise effort, never talent; that we should teach kids to see challenges as learning opportunities rather than threats; and that we should emphasise how abilities can be transformed.
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